Encounter

A greasy-spoon cafe on a Camden-grey day.

I was tired, hung-over yet, strangely, quite hungry.

You stood at the counter and ordered a coffee.

Black, no sugar. You sat in the corner. Away.

Your face held a history that I wasn’t part of.

The sadness I felt didn’t make any sense.

Fried egg and bacon, half-eaten, redundant,

lay dead on my plate. I sipped tea in defence

as you noticed me looking. Eyes quickly averted,

too late, I was filigree falling apart,

as you headed toward me in monochrome motion,

your flickering smile an abuse of the heart.

Hello’.

Do I walk or respond? Hell, you’re scrap from the past’.

‘Good to see you’.

Stay calm now. Pretend.

‘You, too. How you doing?’

You have all the power. Don’t hurt me.

It’s started, but how will it end?

You smelled so familiar, of teen-aged nostalgia.

Oppressive and sexy. A déjà vu crime.

Your hair, slightly longer, a family of Ravens,

sat lazy on shoulders I’d thought of as mine.

My mind battled logic with wild insanity,

Run. Don’t look back.

I was mush.

Can you tell?

Do you know? Can you see in my eyes

that I’m gasping and choking still under you spell?

‘It’s been a long time’. Your voice was the same.

And the lips. Oh, the lips and the kisses I knew.

Damn you.

Lips that could lie like a lake in the dessert.

Same lips saying now, with a smile, ‘Missed you’.

‘Yeah?’, I replied, in a desperate bid to stay light.

Indifference is hard when your head’s on the wall.

‘You look good’, you persisted. I held my composure

(I think) though I shrunk to the size of a ball.

‘Thanks’, I shot back with a shrug. Such a diva.

Why now? I was healing and reeling in frogs.

Your face, animated, spoke under my psyche

in faraway words of a lost monologue.

The images sparked, neon dark, unrelenting.

The battered Toyota, head-rushed to the coast.

Writhing fire-naked nights, waking tight

to the memories still fresh in our sweat.

‘How’s your wife?’, and it wasn’t a question

so much as a canvas to paint with your mouth.

‘What choice did I have. She was having a kid’.

You seemed suddenly weak. Were you clawing me in?

‘He got sick last September. Didn’t make it.’

Oh, God! What a punch.

Did I want to know more?

‘I’m sorry’, I said. Well, what else could I say?

Was I sorry? Of course. Very sorry. Who for?

And then shame, in its rectitude, held up a sign.

My pain was pernicious. Your hurting was more.

Do I reach for that tear dripping soft on your cheek?

Do I wipe it or let it fall wet to the floor?

A greasy- spoon cafe on a Camden-grey day.

The past is a murderer needing a rope.

A battered Toyota parked minutes away.

The future, a glorious, hazardous hope.

Posted in Life & Emotion, Love & Romance, Poems In Text | 26 Comments

Damn Damage

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub – Trimeric form which was invented by Dr. Charles Stone.   

This is such a troublesome affair.
I’ll ask you once again to tell the truth.
The damage done is more than I can bear.
You’ve always been ungracious. Quite uncouth.

I’ll ask you once again to tell the truth.
It’s no good clamming up and looking glum.
You did it. That’s for sure. I have the proof.

The damage done is more than I can bear.
You need a punishment to suit the crime.
Your disregard is way beyond compare.

You’ve always been ungracious. Quite uncouth.
This time you’ve over-stepped the mark, and so
there’ll be no walks today, you naughty pooch!

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Kissing Out Scrumping

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The Circle Turns

Don’t whisper under ancient limbs of yew
where cherished breath of past must surely go,
or bid the daffodil to dip and bow
to spirits bound in sanctuary below

There is no death within these marbled tombs;
no melancholy legacies to own.
Rejoice! It is but night that casts the gloom,
for souls that brushed this earth are long since flown.

The Mourning Dove expels a sad lament
to you and I, where roses lie on stone,
indifferent to the drift of time’s intent.
The circle turns, forever going home.

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She Picked The Shoes

She picked the shoes in pink with winding straps,
of wuthering height, impressive, so divine.
A sizzling date the reason why, perhaps

she picked the shoes.

Her expertise with heels was borderline.
Doc Martens were the norm, with tightened flaps.
She tottered upright, poise and balance fine

until the stroke of midnight brought collapse.
She blamed it on the Pinot Grigio wine.
‘Why me?’ she cries – two months in plaster wraps.

She picked the shoes.

Posted in Comedy, Poems In Text | 1 Comment

She Lays Flowers

She lays flowers by a green painted fence.
Others lay them too, but not so often now.
Some tell her, stop, but she knows he can sense
she lays flowers.

Today she leaves tulips and a quiet vow;
she’ll keep him close. A meagre recompense –
that will not pacify the heads that know.

Done deeds stay spent; encased in lost laments.
No second chance; no turnaround allowed.
The green stays green. The fence remains a fence
where she lays flowers.

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The Gatekeeper

Father said that compliance was the gatekeeper of life.
A concept not easily embraced by the mind of a boy.
Obedience from wife and child
was a man’s entitlement.
Mouth shut.
Ears open.
Obey, respect, praise, pray.
When Mother was raped,
I was mute.
When her wounds wept,
I shivered frozen rage.
Belittled, afraid, angry, ashamed.
Locked in compliance.
Silenced.


In my head they would come,
the heros and giants.
She died.
I was ten.
She was blue.
A crumpled rag doll despatched to a hole
in the yard.
He cursed into glasses of malt and I cried,
but not loud.
Months became years, slowly turning
the fears to new stirrings. A giant emerging,
heroic, maybe.
And I grew and he shrank as he drank as I grew
and I knew, in my heart, the Gatekeeper was lost.
He lay in his bed, still ranting
and spewing out desperate prayers
that sank in the void of his desolate stare.


I took Mother’s hand
and I never let go.
The pillow felt soft as we walked up the stairs.

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The Joy of Christmas

‘Somehow, somewhere she’ll find a place
where crops grow strong with gentle rain
And children wander, whole again’

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The Crying Mare

The Crying Mare

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She Sees Him

sipping Earl Grey
through
Flora Danica porcelain

she tastes traces
of his mouth
singing echos of Nirvana
at speed

she plays a fingerprinted disc
again
walking
loose-linked hands
cutting steps
in the sand
she
closes her eyes
kissing
like a ravenous hyena
or a sucker fish
running her tongue around her lips
licking for flashback

laughing too loud
loving too high
alive> < evil a
beach-bleached
white paradise

she tugs a necklace memento
the cowrie shell grins
hanging solo

sleeping
sugar-spooned
calm breath
arm-wrapping
dream-napper

she stays awake

sinking
through pot-holes
shark shoals
foiled
wrapped
and crushed
weeping scars
bleeding
raw words
hushed

she could not save him

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